Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

Following my daily walk around the marina yesterday, I sat on a bench and thought things and felt things. I looked at boats. I like boats. I’ve owned a few. I’ve had little ones and larger ones. I’ve jumped off of them and fished from them and been pulled behind them. I’ve sat on them on days with big questions and on lovely days with no questions. I like days with no questions.

The tide was high last night, so the boats were close and the ramps were almost level with the docks. A high tide makes walking the ramps much easier. With a shallow grade, our steps are natural. At low tide, we must be more cautious. The ramps are steep and a wet flip-flop can spell disaster. Tides change. And, so does life.

Twice a day, we get a high tide and a low tide. This rhythm is as old as the earth. It changes a little, but not a lot. Life has a rhythm, too. We enjoy high tides with level ramps and easy steps. We also face low tides and navigating steep ramps with our hands full. This can be treacherous. But, we usually survive the ramp without busting any beer bottles in a stumble.

With the sun high and the wind light and the ramps flat, I consider the boats and the people and the sea and life. We float and drift and face rough waters and doldrums. We sometimes risk a capsize and sometimes can’t fill a sail. Sometimes, too, we cruise and feel a warm wind and smell the sea and are happy and alive. This tide always returns. It’s nature. This is a good thing to remember when the dock ramps are steep.

Dave Markwell is a life-long Des Moines liver and lover. Former owner of Waterland CrossFit and the Waterland Arcade, Dave is now using his unique story-telling voice to help small businesses tell a better story, and his love for people to help folks live bigger and better lives.

For more info. check out his website:

He can be contacted at: [email protected].